Wigan abuse victims urged to speak out

Countless Wigan victims of coercive or controlling behaviour have been protected since a new law was introduced at the end of 2015.

Friday, 28th December 2018, 8:22 am
Updated Tuesday, 8th January 2019, 10:00 pm
Wiganers urged to talk about domestic abuse

The legislation, brought into effect on December 29, 2015, recognises victims who are subjected to repeated or continuous coercive or controlling behaviour by a family member or partner and provides greater safeguarding outcomes with offenders facing up to five years imprisonment.

In a 12-month period between December 1, 2017, and and November 30, 2018, GMP dealt with 823 crimes where coercive and controlling behaviour was a factor – 70 (nine per cent) of these resulted in a criminal justice outcome such as a charge, caution or community resolution.

One in three women and one in six men will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime, however, that abuse is not always in the form of physical violence. Victims of coercive and controlling behaviour can often appear confident, while in reality their partner can seek to isolate them from friends and family, control aspects of their everyday life and deprive them of their independence.

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Det Supt Denise Worth said: “The pressures of the festive season often lead to an increase in domestic abuse incidents and many people will be suffering in silence as they attempt to get through the Christmas and New Year period.

“Trust your instincts, if something doesn’t feel right it might not be.

“If you feel that a family member, friend or colleagues is being controlled, or in a violent relationship, please report it. You could be saving a life.”

Wiganers are being encouraged to talk more about domestic abuse in all its forms including coercion and control as part of the “sitting right with you” campaign. The initiative is designed to get people thinking differently about domestic abuse.

Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester Bev Hughes said: “Domestic abuse isn’t just physical violence. Controlling what someone wears, their money, where they go, who they talk to is just as damaging and is abuse.

“The introduction of the act in 2015, together with the ongoing positive work across Greater Manchester to tackle domestic abuse is sending a strong and empowering message to those who are suffering in silence that they are not alone.”

To report domestic abuse call police on 101 or 999 if it is an emergency.